Well, who doesn’t like the good picture? Thanks to the social media, we all spend countless hours of our time gazing at pictures, whether it is a pretty celebrity, a cute dog or a beautiful sunset. (Note the adjective associated) Without the adjective would we be still liking the pictures of a celebrity, dog or a sunset? I doubt that. So in order for a picture to be successful, the photographer needs to pack it with something. Something that creates a curiosity, astonishment or simply a wow.
I strongly believe that we should always ask one important question to ourselves before we click that shutter… “Why should I click this picture?” Before you click always imagine a finished photograph what you are going to create. Think about it, ask a question, is this going to be a unique photo I am going to be taking?
I have seen everyone taking a picture of Taj Mahal at Agra India. Just think about how is your Taj Mahal is different than all others Taj Mahal’s people are clicking! So unless you envisioned something special which you could capture given the conditions, don’t shoot!
A good picture always speaks out its story… No.. I am not talking about photojournalism. The story the picture is trying to broadcast is nothing but your vision or an intent or a message you are trying to convey to the viewers. Examples of the story could be “Cloudy Sky”, “Cuddly baby”, “Hard Work”, “Funny Lady” or anything of that sort.
Check the below pictures and see if you can see the story, what I am trying to depict
So basically your picture should speak about something. If you see a flower don’t just jump at it and shoot, take a moment to think about what you are trying to showcase here? Are you shooting the whole flower? some petals in closeup? or the centre portion only? Do it based on the subject and the conditions. Remember there are no rules in photography! You have to make the decision on what should be the highlight of your picture. If there is none, it’s not worth taking that shot.
To illustrate picture with the story check the following samples.
Check both pictures, the picture on the left does not say anything other than it is a “moon” there is absolutely nothing to show off in that picture. If you are shooting with the mobile phone or with the camera without any zoom capability, you are gonna see your picture as shown on the left. I feel no point shooting this moon. On the right-hand side picture, though the story is present, you can see the texture and creators and it makes the viewer take a couple of seconds at your picture. More a viewer stays on the picture, more he liked your picture. So understand your camera capability and shoot accordingly.
Check the above two pictures, which one you would like? On which picture you wound you spend more time? Hope it’s the picture on the right. Basically, both pictures are of the same subject(miniature lights). On the right-hand side though I have purposefully created out of focus and resulted in bokeh (i.e manually did out of focus, you will be able to do that if you have a camera which can do manual focusing). So, in this case, you have to create an interesting scene given the lights and manual focus camera.
Again check the above set… the same subject is shot with different perspectives. It all depends on what you visualize at the given opportunity. To get the right-hand side picture, I had to go down on my knees so that suns rays reflected into the camera directly. Whereas the left-hand side picture is taken standing upright without any adjustment. I will not even ask which one you liked this time!
Check these pictures, you might like both, but I like the right one because there is a better story here. Sometimes you have to shoot at the right moment to get a better story. The photographer needs to create a story in his picture by waiting for the right moment.
Above pictures have not story at all, absolutely nothing to grab the attention of the viewer, however, this kind of photography is done for the documentary purpose, which we are not perusing at this point.
So, before we take a picture, we should
- Make sure there is a photo opportunity.
- Look for better angle or settings so that our message can be loud and clear (Composition: We will learn later)
- Review the picture taken, check your picture after its taken to see if your vision is captured, if not take additional shots of the same thing. (I always feel you should take more than 2 shots and decide about which one to keep later, generally, we will not be able to review the pictures as we shoot on the tiny screen of mobile or camera. We have to do that work later in leisure)
- Tweak your pictures using the software. (I strongly feel everyone should learn about basic photo editing, this will help us to broadcast our story better. There is a heavy discussion on this topic as to what is acceptable and what is not. We will cover it later chapters.
- Now review your picture and see if it’s as per your vision if so keep them. Else delete, save your disk space.
Also note, this may also happen, you have envisioned your picture to say something, but more people are interpreting it to something else. Most probably your picture is not captured right. Always review your picture unbiased. Because what others say about your picture matters!
Hope this session made some sense to you. What is discussed today is very basics of photography but often ignored. It doesn’t matter if you have DSLR or a Mobile Camera, same principles apply. Don’t take the picture first and decide the title or story.
- Post one or two pictures, keeping today’s topic in mind. (Make sure to write the intent or a story for each photo, I recommend fresh pictures if possible, but old pictures also fine!)
- Let me know type of camera(mobile, DSLR, point and shoot)
- Add a tag ‘XDrivePhoto’
- Add a pingback to this post. (Basically, copy the URL of this post, and paste to your post. (Anywhere)
- Title the post as “XDrive Photo Lesson 2”
Your ping-backs may not appear immediately as I have to enable them later. I will check your post and I will comment on your post itself. I will post selected interesting images from you here so that others can also see and learn from them.
Remember at this point we are working on our storytelling abilities only, not on any other aspect of the photography. We will learn as we go. We will go slowly but steadily. Requesting all to participate even if you think you understood the concept. Participation encourages me to do more.
Although these lessons are geared towards newbies, expert photographers also welcomed heartily. I need to learn too! There are no teachers here everyone is learning.
Cheers and Happy clicking!
Contributions: (Please check the posts below and my comments on them in those posts)